Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge debuts Back Porch outdoor space

An outdoor space designed to relax the mind and body was unveiled for the first time Thursday at a Midlands hospital.

Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge staff and executives mill around the Back Porch outdoor space. (photo by Rachel Ham)

Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge staff and executives mill around the Back Porch outdoor space. (photo by Rachel Ham)

Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge opened in March to serve the Irmo community, and officials cut the ribbon on the hospital’s final piece this week. The Back Porch ties into the overall “homey” feel of the campus, which has family rooms, living rooms and lounges instead of waiting rooms and a dining room with locally sourced food.

“It’s all about making patients and their families feel at home,” said Charles Beaman, Palmetto Health CEO. “When I think of a back porch, I think of relaxing with family and friends.”

Approximately 235 donors pledged $1.7 million to make the Back Porch possible. The large outdoor space opens off the dining room and extends around the back of the facility.

Whether they are coming to Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge for a medical test, to visit a sick loved one or to speak with a doctor, patients and families are welcome to spend a few minutes on the porch. There are rocking chairs, shade umbrellas and tables, calming fountains in and around the main porch area and prayer garden. The Back Porch also features a labyrinth walking trail, which is an “ancient tool for mindful meditation,” according to Beaman.

“This is how we care for the whole person,” he said. “There are a lot of innovative approaches to care here.”

The Back Porch features rocking chairs, tables, calming fountains, a prayer garden and more. (photo by Rachel Ham)

The Back Porch features rocking chairs, tables, calming fountains, a prayer garden and more. (photo by Rachel Ham)

The labyrinth on the Parkridge campus features four heart shapes connected together to represent love of self, love of God, love of family and friends and love of neighbors. Unlike mazes, labyrinths don’t have false turns or dead ends but have a defined path that leads to the center and out again.

The Back Porch isn’t just open to patients, staff and families. Residents are invited to enjoy the outdoor space anytime and can even grab a healthy meal at the adjacent dining room if they wish.

Before cutting the ribbon on the new amenity, Acute Care Executive Sarah Kirby talked about the importance of a time capsule that’s being organized. The hospital system recently collected items as Palmetto Health Baptist celebrated 100 years of care, but the Parkridge campus will have a time capsule of its own.

“Since March, we’ve been writing the history of this place,” Kirby said. “We’re preserving memories.”

Invitations to the grand opening events for Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge, a list of employees, shale rock from the site, and a description of modern technology are among the items to be placed in the time capsule.

Categories: Business

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